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This post comes from my lovely and wonderful wife, Andrea. It’s been a while since she wrote a post and maybe she felt sorry for my having to drive 8 hours, but so glad she did! Enjoy.

20120625-221241.jpgWe are currently on a family vacation/road trip where we visited Jason’s grandpa (who just turned 88) in Oklahoma and have now journeyed to Kentucky to see my Mamaw. That is just 12 short hours and various interstates and back country roads with our 4 adorable children in the back seats. Call me crazy, but family is THAT important.

Perhaps it is an oldest child mentality with their instinctive role to care for family and younger siblings that has instilled my deep seed desire to have family. Perhaps it is that when I was only eight years old, my family moved across the entire US to live in Alaska and I grew up without those close relationships with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Perhaps it is my pure delight to share my miracle of our adoption with everyone I love. Whatever the reason, here we are on this journey.

Now I’m sure that everyone who reads this has one of those perfect families: No big disputes, no nuts you wish weren’t related to you, no relatives who act in immature or selfish manners. Well, I’m one of those that have a “REAL” family with all the imperfections you could think or come up with. But they are MY family and just like an old house has imperfections, I choose to look at the beauty that lies beneath the surface and realize that the hole in the wall has an amazing story behind it.

My visits with family have been amazing thus far. I treasure the stories of years past and lessons learned by my older generations. In my family, I cherish the deep love and trust in God that my family has had and continues to share. I know generations and generations before me have been praying. I know that things I walk in are in part due to their prayers that have carried me. I know that even those family members who are not walking in their full destiny or with God at all will never stop hearing that God loves them and has a unique plan for their lives.

God accepts me and makes a place for me in His family. “The gift makes room for the person.” Just as he accepts me, we then accept our church as our family. Sure some are quirky just like I’d expect family to be, but God sees something special in them and as a pastor’s wife it’s my job to pray and watch that treasure become unearthed. And if I extend this love to strangers that God brings around me, then I certainly extend it to my family. Imperfections and idiosyncrasies and everything else between, God gave them to me and whether their role is to encourage me or for me to be a light to them–I will be in the place that God called and placed me.

We reveal to the world what we believe to be important by our actions and the lengths we are willing to go for those we love.

How are you proving that family is important (spiritual/physical)? Who is around you that God wants you to love and maybe play a part in discovering the treasure they are? Is there a family member that you’ve been too quick to judge and cut off that God is stirring and inviting you to be a light in their life?



  1. I live about 3 hours away from my family, so it’s not always easy to prove they are important like it would be if I lived closer. I try to make sure I go visit regularly, and call them and share what is going on in my life. It may be little things, but they ahve a huge impact.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Propelling SeasonsMy Profile

    • Little things can make a huge difference. I’m loving FaceTime on my iPhone where my little ones can see my relatives across the states since I’m isolated in Alaska. Thanks for the comment

  2. The longest road trip we ever took was over 5000 miles. We went from Indiana to Denver to Seattle back to Indiana. Stops along the way. 2 baseball games. Multiple Dr. Peppers and Hershey candy bars. hours and hours of “fun.” It is just my wife and I now. our oldest lives in Knoxville, TN (6-7 hours away) and our youngest with our grandson lives in Ohio (4 hours away). I don’t have the freedom to just go on the weekends (the church I pastor may have something to say about that) but we do go as often as we can. Enjoy your time away. 🙂
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..LovedMy Profile

    • That is a long trip! I remember driving from Oklahoma to Alaska when we first moved up there, but I haven’t had to make the drive round trip. We are loving our trip, Thank you!

  3. Awesome thoughts Andrea, I am thankful that you have those things within you; and was so honored and loved being one of your stops on this trip. I am thankful for who you are and what you are spreading and imparting into those around you; especially my brother and nephews and niece. Blessings of good things through the rest of this trip.
    Philip recently posted..It Is Living and ActiveMy Profile

    • It was great to see you too! I think the kids liked laser tag the best. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

  4. A family of nine has a lot of opportunities to prove/show love. My wife and I try to communicate, model and show love in all we do…not always easy, but always rewarding!

    Thanks for sharing Andrea!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..One of Daddy’s GirlsMy Profile

    • 9 -- wow! I thought my 6 were a handful. 🙂 Thanks.

  5. It’s nice to hear from the one who stands behind and up for her husband. What a blessing to have generations of people praying for you, the best inheritance anyone could ask for.

    We all have some quirky people in our families, I have my share and am confident at least to some degree I’m one of them. This is a good reminder for me to continue to love and support the ones inside and outside the family that have fallen away. Thanks for the Godly reminder.

    Have a fun and safe vacation, I’m praying for you guys.

    • We are having a great trip! It’s so awesome to get to be a living light. Thanks.

  6. I know how you feel I was eight years old when me and my family left the bright lights of New York City for the quiet suburbs of Minneapolis Minnesota. In reality I miss my family and friends in New York, but spiritually it was the best thing for us because the life we have established here in Minnesota has been great. When In New York my dad had a job that made it impossible to take vacations, but ever since we got to Minnesota we got to see,go and have things we probably wouldn’t have. Like a 22 hour road trip to Toronto Canada, a 6 hour trip to Chicago, 12 hour trips to Branson and Springfield Missouri, and countless trips to Oklahoma. I Thank God for being us here because if we hadn’t we would of missed out with the relationships He created for us here in Minnesota and other areas in the country. And the best part is we can go to New York anytime we want !
    andrew singh recently posted..Christmas-Winterland Photo ExtravaganzaMy Profile

  7. Awesome thoughts Andrea. Family is indeed very important. Living in Alaska can be quite trying when making plans to get away to the lower 48 to visit family. Most of us are blessed when we can get away at least once and really blessed to have two visits outside per year. But you know, how ever often, those visits are always sweet and rich. And yes, on occasion there’s a dispute or two, but hey….that’s family.
    I’m so glad you guys got a chance to take this trip. Enjoy the rest of your time away. We miss you guys. Btw, excellent piece. Proud of you!



  1. Glynn Young - Road Trip, new post by Andrea for @br8kthru at Connecting to Impact
  2. Dusty Rayburn - RT @br8kthru: ROAD TRIP!
  3. Jay Cookingham - RT @br8kthru: ROAD TRIP!
  4. Phil Stasyszen - RT @br8kthru: ROAD TRIP!
  5. Jason Stasyszen - Thanks for the RT yesterday :) @philstasyszen @strategicdad @gyoung9751 @dlrayburn ROAD TRIP!

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